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TOPIC: Passed the exam in my first attempt (5 ATs)

Passed the exam in my first attempt (5 ATs) 9 months 3 weeks ago #24734

  • Sam
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Hi, I passed the exam two weeks ago on my first attempt and felt it my moral duty to highlight my experiences towards my prospective fellow PMP-ites.

-Spent four months preparing (juggled my time between studying and my extremely long working hrs)
-Studied off of two books - Rita and PMBOK6 only. Read Rita ~5 times. PMBOK around ~2 times
-Watched a few youtube videos by Izen Consulting. They have excellent videos on EVM, network diagrams and so on in case the books don't help.
-Intermittently practiced questions from a few apps. Not of much help. Don't recommend
-Purchased the PMP Exam Simulator three weeks prior to the exam

Three weeks prior to exam:
-Read each chapter from Rita's and same from PMBOK each day. Made sure to do the end of chapter questions from Rita's whilst reading the answer explanations in excruciating detail.
-Practiced ~20 questions (timed) daily from PMP exam Simulator
-Practiced the 120 free Prepcast questions

One and half weeks prior to exam:
-Only PMP Exam Simulator exam practice
-Ensured I read the relevant sections from PMBOK for the responses (both correct and incorrect)

I was originally planned to take the exam last week of October but due to the lockdown my in-centre exam was cancelled two weeks prior. Did not book my at-home exam 3 hrs prior to writing it. The reason I booked my exam three hours before is the same issue we all go through - exam anxiety which I don't seem to do too well with. So I left this decision open-ended. However what motivated and gave me confidence to book the exam at the last hour was my PMP Exam Simulator scores (was consistently scoring between 85-90%).

Exam Experience:
-Received a call from VUE Pearson. Showed them my ID. They asked me what was on my desk. I had left ear plugs just in case (as I have a pet at home) but did not end up using them
-Check-in process was extremely smooth
-Proctor never interrupted me even once even though I was getting a bit restless at times and swiveling on my chair whilst ensuring my eyes were glued to the screen at all times (very important)
-Started the exam with a bit of anxiety and felt the exam questions to be tough and very open-ended and confusing. After first 20-30 questions, I thought I would fail
-Submitted my exam 30 mins prior and received a congratulatory note on the screen. Did not review anything. My mantra is First Time Right. I have used this in both my personal and professional life with much success

Lessons learnt:
-They are several resources available. Choose two that you can rely on. I bought a few more books but hardly used any. Eventually stuck to only Rita and (PM PrepCast and
PMP Exam Simulator)
-Practice is key. This will wire your mind on the thought process required to answer questions confidently
-On the exam and test, quickly browsed the answer choices first. And then read the question to allow me to set the context
-On long questions, read the last sentence first, then the answer choices and then the question. Again for context setting
-Practice drawing network diagrams using MS Paint. The whiteboard on the exam is really bad and may consume additional time
-MOST IMPORTANTLY: Do NOT allow bad and discouraging thoughts to control you. I thought I would fail in the beginning (style of exam questions completely different from PM PrepCast and other practice questions). But eventually your conceptual knowledge will allow you to come out stronger and win. Just practice, practice and practice. At one point you just have to stop reading the books over and over. There is just too much information to commit it all to memory

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and Good luck to all !
Last edit: by Yolanda Mabutas.

Passed the exam in my first attempt (5 ATs) 9 months 3 weeks ago #24745

  • Yolanda Mabutas
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Congratulations, Sam!

Thank you for sharing your experience.
Yolanda Mabutas
OSP International LLC

Passed the exam in my first attempt (5 ATs) 9 months 3 weeks ago #24756

  • Jacquelin Marks
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Thanks for sharing your experience! And congrats!

For the online exam, are you not allowed to have scratch paper? I have been practicing with a data dump as the first 10 minutes of my time to get formulas and things down and now am worried i wont be able to do this effectively with the online version.

Passed the exam in my first attempt (5 ATs) 9 months 1 week ago #24995

  • Emily Hannigan
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No, for the online exam, you can't use scratch paper. You have to use the Pearson Vue's digital whiteboard, which is kind of clunky.

You could do a data dump on the whiteboard, but there is not much space, and it you clear it, you will lose your data dump. I only had to use it for one float question.

I recommend knowing the formulas by heart so if you need have a complicated calculation, you could write the formula on the whiteboard. I also memorized ISSCQRCRPS for the 10 Knowledge Areas in case I need to write it on the whiteboard to visually remind myself of a certain KA.

I do not like surprises, so during my mock exams, I practiced using Pearson Vue's whiteboard:
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